Perspectives on the urban quality of public space

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Urban quality of public space is becoming increasingly a key issue in recent urban planning processes. In the past, strategic master plans focussed mainly on the development of houses. More recent planning projects are trying to single out the importance of public space. Projects like Hafen City in Hamburg or Seestadt Aspern in Vienna have integrated quality of urban space in a way that makes the importance of the public realm more obvious and is receiving more attendance. But the way people use public space and how they perceive public places is very different. This raises the following questions concerning urban quality: - What is the reason for feeling pleasant of unpleasant in a public space? - Why do we feel comfortable or unsafe? - Why are places attractive and others not? If we look at the realisation of quality we can ask ourselves the following questions: - How do we experience quality of urban spaces? - How can we define urban quality? - What is the most deciding factor of urban quality? The question is how we can define quality of public and urban space.
Quality of Space – Quality of Life : Planning for Urban Needs of diverse timeframes. 2nd AESOP European Urban Summer School 2011, Lisbon
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